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Red Lentils?

Hi! Cook's Illustrated wrote an article about different types of lentils, and this is what they said about the red lentils:

"These small orange-red lentils "completely disintegrate when cooked." They made a soup that looked "anemic."

By the way, I highly recommend an online subscription to www.cooksillustrated.com - I've had mine nearly a year now, and if you're into learning about all sorts of cooking things, you will learn so much! I'm only sad that it will probably take me a lifetime to read all of their content - LOL.

1 day ago
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking

What do you make with dark rye flour?

I believe that pumpernickel flour and dark rye flour are the same thing - that's my guess, because I have the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook, and they also refer to medium rye and light rye flours. You could call their baking hotline if you want to be sure. It's 855-371-2253.

For recipes, I would recommend the king arthur flour website! I have so many beloved recipes from my King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook using pumpernickel flour that I can't even begin to list them, but they include breads, rolls, muffins, crackers, and even cookies! It's quite the tome (though worth if it you bake with whole grains alot), so to dip you toe in the water, I'd recommend their website! Enjoy!

Oct 04, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking

Your Giant American Refrigerator Is Making You Fat And Poor

I am thin and cook everything from scratch, and I'm really glad that I have a normal (American) fridge. I keep all of my spices on the top shelf, along with some live yeast, and usually whatever ingredients I need to keep for a recipe so my husband doesn't eat them. We have gourmet cheeses, cream, buttermilk, milk & yogurt, all eaten very much in moderation, but those take space. There's red velvet cupcakes in there at the moment, but that doesn't mean we're eating them nonstop. And then all of our homecooked leftovers are on the main/bottom shelf. Between the water bottles and beer there too, it feels pretty full, and there's only two of us! Yes, oversized portions will usually cause weight gain, but that's definitely not correlated to the size of your fridge! And of course these days we tend to eat a lot of different cuisines, so we have more condiments - right now on the door I have the Asian ones (chili garlic sauces, oyster sauce, soy sauce, etc) plus the Italian ingredients (sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies) and the Latin ones (chiles in adobo, hot sauce) and the French (marsala wine, dijon mustard)...my point is, it's lovely to have space to keep those ingredients, and all of mine are still fresh and get used regularly to make healthy food. And when it's time to entertain, I probably could use more space!

And while it's true that the French have tiny fridges and walk everywhere every day for fresh groceries, and are thin as a result of that, the two aren't necessarily correlated. I also use grocery shopping as a way to get my exercise - I bike to the store every day - but I still really like the size of my fridge for all the reasons noted above.

Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists

Wow, this is an awesome article, and is motivating me not to engage (and to remember, as I'm pretty gullible, to ask myself if it is a troll). It's tough to tell, because I know some nicer people who just love to debate and really do believe what they're saying, but if it seems to be a troll, I will try to ignore! This was a really interesting finding; thanks again for sharing!

Our 1st time in Paris!! Want to do it right!!

If I could do it over again... Well, for us, our first meal in Paris was quite bad (sub sandwich with no dressing, subpar bread), and after that we hit the computer and were reading Yelp reviews to choose where to go. If I'd planned ahead, I would have actually tried to make reservations from home. It took us a while to get a working cell phone there, and there was a holiday one day, and with spotty internet this was all a huge pain in the butt. Also, you often need reservations because the French eat dinner for 2 hours and the restaurants are tiny (I am overgeneralizing to simplify) so often there were 7PM and 9PM seatings. We found really nice middle-priced restaurants with very high yelp reviews and were able to make reservations for most. It just would have been nice to do this from home (I assume email would work) instead of during our vacation with all of the technical problems. Once we did have reservations, though, the quality of food was very nice and we had a great time! Now for a totally different approach: We had friends who went, and never made a single reservation - there are so many restaurants that if you don't care so much about exactly where you eat, you can just walk around until you find a place that has availability. Alternatively, we heard that your hotel concierge can often help with reservations [we rented an apartment so didn't have this option.]

Hopefully you can learn from our very big learning curve and have more fun traveling around and spend less time making reservations :)

Have a GREAT time!!!!!! :)

Sep 21, 2014
sunnyskies12 in France

I'm Going Deaf Eating Out in LA

I agree that it's distracting and unpleasant... my husband has always preferred a quiet restaurant, and ever since we visited France, and saw that yes indeed, it can be done, you can have a very pleasant, quiet meal, I notice the loud noise levels even more here! In France, it is just a matter of respect not to be so loud. Oh well, different culture!

Fancy Popcorn

Cook's Country October 2013's issue has a bunch of gourmet popcorn recipes, all of which were a huge hit in my house! Highly recommended; they're also all available (paid subscription) at www.cookscountry.com.

Sep 21, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking

Fancy Cake Recipe

If this is to your taste, a Baba au Rhum comes to mind! My family loved Ina Garten's recipe (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...) and kept raving about it. It wasn't my all time favorite cake, but I bake constantly and I know my favorite tastes. However, it sounds like it might fit your quest :) P.S. You need a small tube pan or bundt pan, not the full sized one.

Sep 21, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking

ISO Fancy, elegant plated dessert

I love to bake any type of dessert, and recently made the Chocolate Raspberry Torte from Cook's Illustrated, and I just remember thinking then and now what an elegant dessert it was! You can either sign up for a free 2 week website trial, or it was published in their November 2010 issue.

http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recip...

Sep 21, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking
1

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

I second the votes for Sbarros and Subway. I always felt disappointed just walking into Sbarros, even before I learned how to cook and my taste buds got spoiled. Subway used to be okay, but one time we went there for breakfast, after I'd started cooking, and the breakfast sandwich was so nasty/fake I will never step foot in a Subway again. LOL.

Sep 21, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Features

Baking pie on pizza stone? Yay or nay?

I heard a caller on America's Test Kitchen Radio who wondered why his dad's kitchen always smelled so awful after he was using the baking stone, and Chris/Bridgette's explanation was that he was putting his pizza straight onto the stone (no parchment paper liner) and then either not cleaning it or not cleaning it well enough. But if your cleaning is doing a sufficient job, sounds great!

Sep 11, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking

Frozen Raspberry question!

I wondered the same thing! Birdseye makes them (http://www.birdseye.com/vegetable-pro...) and if you call them at (800) 432-3102 with your zip code, they'll tell you if and where they're sold near you. They're not sold near me, but maybe you'll have better luck :)

May 30, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Los Angeles Area

Can only find lowfat buttermilk?

From what I understand, buttermilk was originally low-fat; it was made from the liquid leftover from churning butter, so the idea was to get all of the fat out (for butter), leaving only a tiny bit of butter left (yellow flecks, and not intentionally) which left in just a tiny bit of fat. So although buttermilk is no longer made the traditional way (except Kate's brand), it is made low-fat intentionally to be most similar to traditional buttermilk which was naturally low-fat. Hope that helps :)

Mar 19, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Pennsylvania

Anything I can make with Pillsbury French Bread Dough?

My mom makes a "Brie Wreath" appetizer with them that's really delicious and pretty. Place 1 round of brie on a cookie sheet covered in foil and sprayed with PAM. Arrange 1 package of Pillsbury French Bread dough in a circle around the brie (looks nice if you cut it in half lengthwise and braid it). Sprinkle with brown sugar, pecans and cranberries. Drizzle maple syrup over top. Bake according to bread directions. If it starts to brown too quickly, put foil loosely over the top. To serve, slide wreath unto a serving platter. Enjoy!

Mar 04, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking

Anyone tried CI's new take on Chicken Marbella?

This explains why I liked it - I never tried the original so I had nothing to compare it too :) That is, it didn't fall short of anything else, which is a very disappointing experience...

Feb 25, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking

Peanut Butta Cups

I didn't like the filling in these very much. I made another recipe side by side, and concluded that the graham crackers detract from the peanut They also did not come out of the pan no matter how long I froze it. It was a non-stick pan so I didn't dare scrape it too hard (though I tried with a toothpick, which broke) and a sharp knife, which still didn't work. I ended up having to put the pan in hot water and popped out the semi-melted candies that way. My third issue with these is that they were a lot of work, and buckeyes are a much easier way to get the same (actually, better) flavors.

Feb 25, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Recipes

The perfect pernil

I made the Cook's Country August/September 2013 recipe and unfortunately had the same problem - most of the skin was either burnt or rubbery, with just a few bites of crisp skin. Thank-you to everyone who replied here; I will try those suggestions next time.

Feb 24, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking

Anyone tried CI's new take on Chicken Marbella?

Just tried it tonight, and it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD :)

Feb 22, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking

Eggnog Pumpkin Pie

Mmmmmmm, this looks so good!

Feb 21, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Recipes

Winter Greens Lasagna

Mmmmm, this looks delicious!!

Feb 21, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Recipes

Where Shallots Shine

I use them all the time, probably because Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen often call for them in their recipes. They are definitely worth the extra cost whenever called for.

Feb 21, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Features

CHOW Reviews: Onion Goggles

I love mine. I guess I have an average sized face and I'm tall. The only bummer is when I am wearing my eyeglasses, instead of my contacts, and can't wear them. Which is only more a compliment for these :) I bought a pair for my sister and mom in their favorite colors.

Feb 21, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Cookware

Buying Indian Spices. Kitchen Coach Part 2: Spice Hunting with Preeti Mistry

I was so excited when Penzey's opened up a new store in San Diego! I first heard about them from Cook's Illustrated, where their Cinnamon and Curry Powder both won taste tests. Their prices are super reasonable and the staff is extremely friendly and helpful.

Feb 21, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Features
1

Parle-G, My Indian Biscuit Crush

This was an interesting article; I hadn't heard of these, so was glad to learn something new.

Which foundational cookbook would you give a beginning 23 YO cook?

@Linda, I love the title idea! I love her series too, and am just nearly caught up to her most current book - just have the Enchilada one to read next :)

Feb 21, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking

Apple Fritters

I want to second the others....I originally found my recipe for Apple Fritters when I signed up for a free two week trial subscription to http://www.cookscountry.com, and just made these today….just wanted to vouch that these are AMAZING!!!!!!!!

Feb 20, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking

Malt question: Horlick's vs. malt extract vs. Carnation

Cost plus world market also often has it

Feb 20, 2014
sunnyskies12 in General Topics

Which foundational cookbook would you give a beginning 23 YO cook?

@ Souschef, thank-you for pointing me towards "Cook It Right" - it's now in my list of books to check out from the library. Much appreciated!

http://usemybooks.wordpress.com/

Feb 13, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking

Almond Jay

I highly recommend these, if you like Almond Joy bars. These are also a very simple candy to make. I've made the Snickers and Twix recipes from Chow, which were much harder (though the Snickers are my favorite :) If you want to practice tempering chocolate, this would also be a good recipe to practice with. These aren't my husbands and my favorite candy bars in general, but I just felt like doing something different, and they were quite tasty. @ Gormand Adventurer, it seems like a simple syrup would work here too. @ Full Palate, I just used a regular milk chocolate and it was fine; just use a milk chocolate that you like, and temper it, there's nothing special about this recipe that requires that one (IMO). @ BBQ me, I was really busy multitasking and didn't temper the chocolate, and it set up just fine.

Happy candy making :)

Feb 04, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Recipes

Thoughts on King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook?

I LOVE this cookbook. It is probably the only reason I get any whole grains in my baking :) I have 183 favorite recipes already, and 67 recipes I would not make again. Yes, I bake a lot from this book :) There have only been a handful of "bad" recipes; most of them just come down to personal taste, and how prominent you like the taste of whole grains. Their brownies are my all-time favorites, and I love love love so many of their breads. They also have great pancakes, scones, biscuits, tortillas, pita bread, crackers, pizza dough, puff pastry, eclair dough, etc. There is really such a great variety of recipes. You also get a huge introduction to other types of whole grains besides whole wheat flour and oats. You can still make about half the recipes if you only have those on hand, but because of this book, I keep the smaller bags of specialty flours in my freezer (easily found at your natural foods market, and sometimes at the regular markets, and always at kingarthurflour.com). One other note; you'll see which recipes you like to have your whole grains in. Personally, I think they elevate most loaf breads and are great (or better than white flour) in rolls, brownies, quick breads, pancakes, and bars. I don't always like whole grains in very simple flavored things where they remind me of a pancake too much, like genoise or other simple cakes or scones. I've learned where I just prefer white flour, but I think it's a personal taste. Anyway, this is a great company and a great cookbook; if you have the room on your shelf, I highly recommend it!!

Jan 29, 2014
sunnyskies12 in Home Cooking